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It doesn’t matter how expensive your vehicle is or how gentle you are with your car, most of the drivers are bound to face one issue or another with the power steering system of the vehicle. It can be anything, from hard turning when the car is cold, stiff steering, unusual noises, and fluid leaks.
The driving factors behind these issues are friction, heat, and electrochemical degradation, typical by-products of a regular driving routine. Power steering fluid is clear and clean when it is new, but gets dark over time. Sludge deposits and varnish can accumulate in the power steering system, impacting the responsive handling and ease of turning.
Power steering fluid is a critical component that keeps trucks and cars running effortlessly. Just like the name suggests, it helps you turn and steer your car without any effort. It is a hydraulic fluid utilized in the steering system, which develops a hydraulic link between the vehicle’s front wheels and the steering wheel.
This hydraulic link helps decrease the efforts required to turn the wheels on bends. Usually, the power steering fluid comes in amber, red, pink, or light/clear colours. If you find the power steering fluid foamy or dark brown, it is a clear indication of changing the fluid.
The power steering fluid also helps in lubricating other moving parts of the steering system. It also prevents corrosion and reduces foaming in the steering pump and power steering gear, which eventually keeps your car running without any glitches.
For any car’s power steering pump operation, power steering fluid is essential. This fluid is stored in the power steering pump reservoir and is responsible for a wide range of functions which are as follows:
Lubrication of power steering pump: One of the critical roles of power steering fluid is the lubrication of the power steering pump unit. This is the reservoir for the car’s power steering fluid. This unit also aids in pressuring the power steering fluid, which helps in its circulation through the entire power steering system.
Lubrication of power steering gear unit: Apart from lubricating a car’s power steering pump unit, the power steering fluid also lubricates the power steering gear unit. This unit is a critical part of the power steering system and is associated with the vehicle steering rod mechanism, which eventually moves the front tires of the car.
Provides the necessary hydraulic pressure: Once pressurized and circulated by the power steering pump, the power steering fluid moves through the entire power steering system of the car while providing the much-required hydraulic pressure needed by mechanical parts of the power steering system to function.
Reduces the friction in the power steering system: Apart from all the aforementioned functions, power steering fluid also lubricates and oils the different mechanical parts of the power steering system. Like other mechanical systems with various connected components, a power steering system also has different components, big and small that work in sync with each other and cause friction. The power steering fluid helps in reducing this friction, resulting in the lesser wearing of the power steering system.
Reduces the temperature of the power steering system: While lubricating the power steering system, the power steering fluid also reduces the average operating temperature of the power steering pump and power steering gear unit, the most essential and heat-generating components of any power steering system.
The answer is contamination. Like the oil, the power steering fluid doesn’t burn off but can get contaminated with sludge and dust particles. With time, the fluid contamination level increases, thus putting the entire system and power steering fluid pump under stress. If you wait until you start hearing noises or struggle to steer the wheel, you are already in for a huge bill. Ideally, experts at TIRECRAFT suggest a power steering fluid flush every 80,000KM to 100,000KM, though it can vary for different cars. Or you can look out for certain signs signalling that you need a power steering fluid flush.
Consult your owner’s manual: Pick up the owner’s manual as it is full of adequate information about your car, the suitable intervals for fluids change, and other essential tips to take care of your car. Usually, the manual also has recommendations on the fluid formulation that should be used for the best performance.
Keep an eye on the fluid: Run your car for a couple of miles, then go under the hood, get the dipstick and check the colour of the fluid. Ideally, the colour should be bright red, but if it appears dark, then you may need to book an appointment soon. Also, check the power steering fluid reservoir for particles and sludge. If you see sludge deposits and contaminants, it is time for power steering fluid flush.
Listen to the pump: The power steering fluid pump can tell you a lot about the fluid; all you need to do is listen. The more the fluid is contaminated, the harder will be the job for the pump and noisier it will get. If you frequently hear a whining or other loud noises from the power steering system, try flushing the system and adding fresh fluid.
Steering issues: Trust us; you don’t want to reach the point where you face steering issues. And if it’s happening, then it is a definite sign that there is some issue with the power steering fluid.
There are a few significant benefits of getting a regular power steering fluid flush. Some of them are as follows:
Smoother steering: After a power steering fluid flush, you can turn and steer your car without any effort. The grime in the fluid can make steering a struggle. The vehicle becomes more responsive to turns with new fluid, making the driving experience efficient and safer.
Better condition of power steering pump: During this flush service, our automotive technicians ensure that all steering system components are in good condition. These components include the power steering pump, which can be expensive to replace. Regular fluid flush can save your pocket from this unwanted cost.
Removal of contaminants: Over a period, fluids in the car tend to accumulate rust, contaminants, and other particles, which reduce the efficiency of the vehicle. Regular fluid flushing ensures that you are getting rid of dangerous contaminants from the power steering system that can be detrimental to its health.
Now that you know almost every aspect of a power steering fluid flush don’t forget to book an appointment with your local TIRECRAFT if you suspect you are due for one. Call to book your appointment today!